Monday, November 01, 2010

182 (2010 #47). To Account for Murder

by William C. Whitbeck

This bound galley was sent to me by the publisher, Permanent Press. The author is, as of this writing, a judge on the Michigan State Court of Appeals, who, according to Ron Dzwonkowski of the January 10, 2010, Detroit Free Press, "asked that publication of his novel be delayed until mid-November because he's up for re-election this year and didn't want it to be a factor in his campaign.  He said there will be just minimal promotion of the book, standard for a new, unknown author in tight economic times."

The book is based on a true story, that of Michigan State Senator Warren Hooper, who was shot in January 1945 shortly before he was going to implicate others with a grand jury.  While two members of the infamous Purple Gang were convicted of conspiring to kill Hooper, no one was ever convicted for pulling the trigger.

Whitbeck has fictionalized this story and come up with a murderer.  The main character is Charlie Cahill, a lawyer who lost an arm in World War II, telling the story to his child Frankie in 1996, looking back 50+ years to late 1945 and early 1946, highlighting the corruption of the criminals, lawyers, judges, and elected officials alike.  I'm not much for true crime or murder mysteries, but this book held my interest.  The only problem I had was keeping track of all the characters, many of who had last names beginning with the letter S.  One of those is Hubbell Street, the murder prosecutor, modeled on the real-life Michigan corruption special prosecutor and later-governor Kim Sigler

© Amanda Pape - 2010

[This advanced reader edition was sent to me by the publisher and will be passed on to someone else.]

No comments:

Post a Comment